Aegean, Goatish, Stormy
AIGAION (Aegaeon) was the god of the storms of the Aegean Sea and an ally of the Titanes in their war against the gods. He was named Aigaion after the Aegean Sea (Pontos Aigaios in Greek) but his name also means "Stormy One" and "Goatish" from the Greek word aigis.
Aigaion was identified with both the hundred-handed giant Briareus--who was sometimes called his son--and the storm-monster Typhoeus.
FAMILY OF AEGAEON
[1.1] PONTOS & GAIA (Titanomachia 3)
[1.1] BRIAREOS (Homer Iliad 1.397)
[1.2] BRIAREOS ? (by Thalassa) (Ion of Chios, Frag 741)
AEGAEON (Aigaiôn) The Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius (i. 1165) represents Aegaeon as a son of Gaea and Pontus and as living as a marine god in the Aegean sea. Ovid (Met. ii. 10) and Philostratus (Vit. Apollon. iv. 6) like-wise regard him as a marine god.
Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES
Homer, Iliad 1. 397 ff (trans. Lattimore) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
"The creature of the hundred hands to tall Olympos, that creature the gods name Briareos, but all men Aigaios' (Aegaeus') son, but he is far greater in strength than his father."
Eumelus of Corinth or Arctinus of Miletus, Titanomachia Fragment 3 (from Scholiast on Apollonios Rhodius 1. 1165) (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or 7th B.C.) :
"Aigaion (Aegaeon) was the son of Gaia (the Earth) and Pontos (the Sea) and, having his dwelling in the sea, was an ally of the Titanes (Titans)."
Ion of Chios, Fragment 741 (from Scholiast on Apollonius of Rhodes) (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric IV) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.)
"Ion says in a dithyramb that Aigaion (Aegaeon) [i.e. the son of Aigaios] was summoned from the sea by Thetis and taken up to protect Zeus, and that he was the son of Thalassa (Sea)."
Callimachus, Hymn 4 to Delos 140 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"The mount of Aitna (Etna) smoulders with fire and all its secret depths are shaken as the Gigantos (Giant) under the earth, even Briareos [here meaning Aigaios or Typhoeus], shifts to his other shoulder, and with the tongs of Hephaistos (Hephaestus) roar furnaces and handiwork withal; and firewrought basins and tripods ring terribly as they fall one upon the other."
Ovid, Fasti 3. 793 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Saturnus [Kronos (Cronus)] was thrust from his realm by Jove [Zeus]. In anger he stirs the mighty Titanes to arms and seeks the assistance owed by fate. There was a shocking monster [the ‘Ophiotauros’] born of Mother Terra (Earth) [Gaia], a bull, whose back half was a serpent (or eel). Roaring Styx [an ally of Zeus] imprisoned it, warned by the three Parcae (Fates) [Moirai], in a black grove with a triple wall. Whoever fed the bull's guts to consuming flames was destined to defeat the eternal gods. Briareus [Aigaion] slays it with an adamantine axe and prepares to feed the flames its innards. Jupiter [Zeus] commands the birds to grab them; the kite brought them to him and reached the stars on merit."
After Aigaion was vanquished by Zeus in the Titan-War, his son Briareos appears to have replaced him as the god of Aegean sea-storms. Aigaion played a role in the ancient Titanomachia pome of the Epic Cycle. It probably had Zeus craft his storm-bringing aigis (goat-skin) arm-guard from the giant's skin. Aigaios and the aigis might also have been associated in the epic with the Constellation Capra (the Storm-Goat) whose rising in late autumn marks the onset of stormy weather on the Aegean.
- Homer, The Iliad - Greek Epic C8th B.C.
- Epic Cycle, Titanomachia Fragments - Greek Epic C8th B.C.
- Greek Lyric IV Ion of Chios, Fragments - Greek Lyric C5th B.C.
- Callimachus, Hymns - Greek Poetry C3rd B.C.
- Ovid, Fasti - Latin Poetry C1st B.C. - C1st A.D.
A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.